The electoral uncertainty settle down in Colombia

On 27th May 2018, in between the highly polarised environment and electoral uncertainty, Colombia is going on the poll for its first round of General Election, selecting the successor of Juan Manuel Santos. Out of the five candidates, Ivan Duque, of the ex-president Alvaro Uribe’s party, is the favourite among the masses, with very less political experience and a strong opposition to Santos’s government. All the polls indicate Duque will be the winner of the first round.

However, it is still not clear who will accompany Duque in the second round, to be held on 17th June. The polls give the candidate of Uribe between 35% and 41.5% of the vote intention, meanwhile in the second place is Gustavo Petro, ex-member of the extinct guerilla M-19 and ex-mayor of Bogota, whose vote intention is between 24% and 29.5%, according to latest polls. The candidature of Petro has been marked for his leftist ideology, which has sown the certain concern among the important part of the electorate since they have accused him of wanting to settle “another Venezuela” in Colombia. For that objective, the polarization has been the principal characteristics in the precursor of these elections. It would be a duel between the radical left and the conservative right of Colombia since the first time in Colombia the “anti-system” left will compete for the power to the right.

The issues which is concerned to Colombians and which will transform into the important challenges for the future President are the compliance of the peace treaty with the ex-guerilla FARC, the corruption, the narcos, the slowing down of the economy and the Venezuelan exodus, have impacted Colombia to the greater extent.

But the uncertainty has settled despite what the survey predicts, the Colombian analysts have held so far that nothing is clear and one could surprise this Sunday. Out of the other three candidates, two could surprise.

Sergio Fajardo, ex-mayor of Medellin and the representative of centre Colombian politics, could leave Petro behind. This due to the fear of the Colombians regarding the proposals of Petro, whose critics think that He and his followers are inspired by the “Castrochavism” and they could lead Colombia into the same crisis like Venezuela. But there is German Vargas Lleras who has the greatest political record among the candidates. He was the vice president and minister during the two mandates of Juan Manuel Santos. Actually, he holds the fourth place in the polls, after the Fajardo. However, what the experts have warned is that, a great political machinery, which belongs to this old traditional Colombian politician, which he mobilise great quantity of votes in last minute.

The fifth and contender is Humberto De la Calle, who have been described as a “Candidate of peace” as he was the prime negotiator in the dialogues with the FARC. He was the vice president during the government of Ernesto Samper and a minister during the mandate of Cesar Gaviria. But he is the representative of the traditional establishment as well, due to which his proposals have not convinced the Colombians, who have moved to the extreme ideology. As of now, he is the last in the polls.

If no candidate receives a majority of the vote, a second round will be held on 17 June. Incumbent President Juan Manuel Santos is ineligible for re-election, having already served two terms. The elected candidate will serve a four-year term from 7 August 2018 to 7 August 2022.


Stay tuned for the updates of Colombia Elections by The Kootneeti


Source: La Tercera

Abhinav Kaushal
The Kootneeti Latin America Team

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